Imagination, love, heartache, bliss, and passion are just a couple of emotions you should get out of life. At least, it would be ideal.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting any of these things. I’m just accepting the ordinary dullness also known as everyday life. We all have days like this where some of us drag our feet and count down the hours, minutes, sometimes even seconds until the next day, when we know this feeling will pass. Some of us get antsy and get big ideas in our head we don’t have the time or the energy to follow through on. We all want to stop the dreaded feeling that our precious time is sweeping past us in days and moments just set on repeat.
Today I am having one of those days. I am having myself a little pity party inside my head. I try not to do that, I really do. I encourage others not to, I teach my kids not to feel sorry for themselves, but every now and then the nudging feeling that all I am doing is moving through my days like a freaking robot catches up with me.
I know we all deal with this from time to time, but for some of us (me being one of them) when the idea that I am not doing anything worthwhile starts to balloon up in my head, all I can do is get a piece of cake and sit on the couch and eat it. I think about it too much. I obsess over it too much. I think about how I am not where I want to be, and then I get all out of sorts and get the blues the way I do when I run out of the passion and potential I know I’m capable of. Sometimes I even realize I don’t actually know where I want to be, and that it’s OK to not know, but on the bad days, it doesn’t feel okay. It makes me feel shameful, useless, and wasteful.
I then try and do things I enjoy like reading and writing. Writing lets me release all those scattered and scary thoughts racing around in my head, and reading is my blissful escape, my ultimate distraction. We all have something we like to do to get our mind out of its negative place, working out(only for sane people) or hitting the bottle while trying not to yell at our kids (for people like me) are a couple things that pop up in my mind.
I could go on and on about all the reasons I am so lucky. I have my health, my family’s health, my job with amazing coworkers, my two awesome boys that call me their mom, enough money to get a pizza on a Friday after a long week at work, lava cakes included. There are many reasons to be grateful on the bad days but that’s not reality. It’s not that simple to just silence your thoughts and focus on all the positives when the negatives are so relevant in that moment.
I would much rather focus on being defiant, and challenging-convincing all of you to stop giving a crap. Stop caring. Make sure when you are having these thoughts about your life being insignificant, or hollow, and you are living in a suburban trap that it’s actually YOU having the thoughts, and not everyone else’s preconceived notions about what you should be doing. Make sure it’s not because your parents don’t understand why you haven’t finished your college degree (raising kids is hard and I am not mentally capable until they reach the age where it is safe to ignore them for a minute or an hour), or if you are set in your career maybe they are constantly asking why you have yet to pop out any little ones.
If it is all the other people in your life that make you feel this way, you really need to stop and take control of this. You can try discussing the way their “suggestions” make you feel, and if these people really love you they will understand, or you can be like me and just flat-out tell them to shut up and quit trying to tell you how to live (I need to really work on my communication and my filter or do I?).
The bigger picture here is there really is no point to feel stuck. If you are a stay at home parent and you feel like you are only worthy of wiping butts and cleaning up messes, you know better. You sometimes cry when you are alone, not because it is a meaningless job but because it is so important and so meaningful you are scared to mess it up.
If you are a working Mom or Dad who feels like you get no time for yourself, and you are just joining everyone else in the daily grind with no joy or meaning, incorporate something you are passionate about into your life. Instead of watching Netflix at night, do something that makes you feel good. If you feel like all there is to life is work, work, and more work, you know better.
If you happen to have a career you love that gives you great contentment, but you still find yourself feeling like you don’t know what you are doing on this earth, or supposed to be doing, stop. Maybe you need to evaluate your contentment you are so sure your career is giving you.
You need to stop thinking the next thing is always going to make you closer to happiness and realize you could be living more content if you would let yourself. Stop feeling like you don’t do enough or don’t have enough. You know better.
Think about what makes you feel good, and no matter how unrealistic it seems, check into it. If it’s going back to school, check into it. Make some sacrifices. If it’s getting a new job even though you are terrified of change, take small steps and just look and see what’s out there, go to a few interviews, you might be surprised the impression a stranger can make on you. If you end up with a new job you love you will be not only glad you found the courage but proud.
If you are content with what are you are doing in the here and now, but others around you encourage you to add more to your plate because they measure success differently than you, screw them.
Find something you’re passionate about. If you are used to taking direction from other’s and you have no idea what your passion even is, figure it out. Most of us have something we love that has been buried for so long we see no chance of it ever surfacing.
Get a shovel and start digging. That’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing. I am writing because it makes me happy, not to make money, not to please anyone except myself. I do it because putting words onto paper where they will forever stay to inspire someone, or make someone think, or change their mood or their mind, makes me feel passionate, and I need that to feel alive. We all do.
Right now for me, I am going to quit feeling sorry for myself and write more because it makes me happy. I am going to quit obsessing over my future because I have small children and they are my now, and I want to be here in the now. Not stuck in the what if, or the should I be doing life different stage.
What my boys are going to remember is me playing ninja turtles with them, and the nightly rough housing that goes on here, (hopefully they will somehow lose memory of me letting them strike each other because I need to finish the last chapter of my book). They will remember how present I was. They will remember my laughter as they face plant into the stack of pillows they strategically placed on my living room floor and not my nagging that someone will get hurt, or they are being too loud.
More importantly, I am going to know that I can raise my family, go to work overtime, and do things I love in my free time, like writing. I am going to work on my craft of writing and use my time at night to read more instead of watching Investigation Discovery which just convinces me that every male that asks me out is a serial killer. I could use a little love in my life too and this channel definitely makes me wary of dating.
I am done with feeling meaningless. The pity party is over. It’s time to hit the brakes and stop operating on autopilot. All that matters is how I feel about what I am spending my time doing, not you, not them, not anyone.
So I am going to do what I like to do and what makes me feel meaningful and you should too, because who cares?